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“The Magnitude of this Failure is Astonishing.” – The NEJM Cluster.

Posted on | October 8, 2020 | 6 Comments

Mike Magee

“Here in the United States, our leaders have failed that test. They have taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy.” …and that’s just the first paragraph.

From the last paragraph: “Anyone else who recklessly squandered lives and money in this way would be suffering legal consequences. Our leaders have largely claimed immunity for their actions…When it comes to the response to the largest public health crisis of our time, our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent. We should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs.”

Who is speaking here? The New York Times, the Washington Post, The Atlantic?

None of the above. This editorial, signed by 34 high-profile physicians and scientists, states “The magnitude of this failure is astonishing.” Individually they are science luminaries. But what is more consequential is the platform they inhabit. They are the editors of the world renowned New England Journal of Medicine.

Here are their names and titles:

Editor-in-Chief
Eric J. Rubin, M.D., Ph.D.

Executive Editor
Mary Beth Hamel, M.D., M.P.H.

Deputy Editor
Lindsey R. Baden, M.D.

Deputy Editor
Julie R. Ingelfinger, M.D.

Deputy Editor
John A. Jarcho, M.D.

Deputy Editor
Dan L. Longo, M.D.

Deputy Editor
Elizabeth G. Phimister, Ph.D.

Deputy Editor
Allan H. Ropper, M.D.

Deputy Editor
Caren G. Solomon, M.D., M.P.H.

Deputy Editor
Darren B. Taichman, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Editor
Arnold M. Epstein, M.D., M.A.

Associate Editor
Guadalupe Garcia-Tsao, M.D.

Associate Editor
Ellen M. Gravallese, M.D.

Associate Editor
Michael F. Greene, M.D.

Associate Editor
John F. Keaney, Jr., M.D.

Associate Editor
Clifford J. Rosen, M.D.

Associate Editor
Gary Wong, M.D., F.R.C.P.C.

Associate Editor
Rui‑Ping Xiao, M.D., Ph.D.

Executive Managing Editor
Stephen Morrissey, Ph.D.

Statistical Consultants
Ralph B. D’Agostino, Sr., Ph.D., Constantine Gatsonis, Ph.D., David Harrington, Ph.D., Joseph W. Hogan, Sc.D., David J. Hunter, M.B., B.S., M.P.H., Sc.D., Sharon‑Lise T. Normand, Ph.D.

Perspective Editor
Debra Malina, Ph.D.

National Correspondent
Lisa S. Rosenbaum, M.D.

International Correspondent
Charlotte J. Haug, M.D., Ph.D.

CME Editor
Carla S. Rothaus, M.D.

Images Editor
Chana A. Sacks, M.D.

Editors-at-Large
Joseph Loscalzo, M.D., Ph.D., Richard P. Wenzel, M.D., M.Sc.

Editorial Fellows
Jehan F. Chowdhury, D.O., Siri R. Kadire, M.D

In taking this action, they join others in declaring outright independence from Trump and his Republican enablers. They are preceded by the leadership of two other prominent science publications.  In its 175-year history, Scientific American had never endorsed a US presidential candidate – until last month when they chose Joe Biden. One week earlier, H. Holden Thorp, the spicy new editor of Science, penned an editorial titled “Trump Lied About Science.”

Actions like these are not taken lightly. They can undermine well-established and hard-earned reputations for independence. They can create enemies in high places. They can have financial consequences.

This NEJM cluster, in its own way, is as significant as the Rose Garden/Covid cluster that Trump personally ignited. Both actions have captured our attention. Both actions united individuals of like mind. And both have real-life consequences that no longer can be ignored.

Comments

6 Responses to ““The Magnitude of this Failure is Astonishing.” – The NEJM Cluster.”

  1. Barbara Turner
    October 8th, 2020 @ 12:52 pm

    This travesty of leadership demands condemnation. I heartily support this statement. We all must actively work to educate and engage the American public to understand the dire dangers of the Trump administration and its Republican enablers.

  2. Mike Magee
    October 8th, 2020 @ 1:08 pm

    Thanks, Barbara! Some years back, I explored the notion of “Advanced Professionalism” and developed a curriculm here: http://www.healthcommentary.org/about/advanced-professionalism/
    In some ways it envisioned courageous actions by individuals like the NEJM editors and yourself when challenged by predators like Trump. Thanks for stepping forward on behalf of all health professionals and the people we serve. Best, Mike

  3. Lawrence R Williams
    October 9th, 2020 @ 3:39 pm

    As a lawyer, not a doctor, I am impressed with the number of preeminent professional scientific publications that have, most for the 1st time in the history of their existence, spoken out about political forces afoot in our nation. And when these entities have spoken they have unanimously endorsed former VP Joseph Biden in the current presidential race. Sadly, I do not believe that these expressions of support will have any impact on Trump supporters as they have almost universally chosen to ignore and frequently deride the opinions and guidance of highly educated individuals often labeling them as “egg heads

  4. Laura Hudgins
    October 10th, 2020 @ 5:57 pm

    Thank you to Dr.Magee, and to all the scientists, health care providers, first responders, etc. who are standing up to the Republican regime, and demanding truth, integrity, honesty, facts, and justice. Thank you to all the investigative reporters!!

  5. Mike Magee
    October 10th, 2020 @ 7:15 pm

    Thanks, Laura. We’re all in this together!

  6. Mike Magee
    October 10th, 2020 @ 7:15 pm

    Thanks, Larry, for the insights!

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